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Showing posts from April, 2018

After the Interview: I FOUND My Birth Mom - and Extended Family!

Yes, dear friends, it is true! Only a few hours after I did the interview with Maria on Saturday, she was able to find my birth mom by searching social media. <3I only found out the news on Sunday afternoon, when Maria told me she had some "updates" and wanted to share them with me. Little did I know, she had been talking to my mom, learning the story of my adoption from the side of my biological family! I was shocked, but it was soon apparent, it was true! My adoptive parents and I were all so happy to hear this amazing news! My parents, Brian and Stephanie, have always been very open about my adoption. To be able to talk to my birth mom and tell her we have prayed for her all these years: "I love you, I have a good life. Thank you for giving me life. I don't have questions I need answered. I don't blame you - I don't even see anything to forgive," is an opportunity no words describe. Getting to video call her, and meet my mom, her husband (Papa) a…

A Special Interview - I Talk About Russian Language, Culture, and My Birth Parents - In Russian!

This week, my Russian Teaching Assistant at Bucknell asked me to take part in a very special project. Maria has been my TA at Bucknell University for two years and not only is she a great teacher, I am glad to say I have a wonderful friend in her as well. Maria wanted to interview me in Russian for her YouTube channel and ask me about my experience as an American student, my process learning Russian, my favorite Russian movies...and why I have a Russian name, if I am American! 

As a part of this video, I had the opportunity to talk about my adoption and my Russian birth parents! This is a unique opportunity, as the video is going to a primarily Russian audience. Though it doesn't have subtitles, I hope you will watch here and then share it!

Whatever the results of this project and my search, my hope is this: 

I want my Russian mom and dad to know that they will always hold a very special place in my heart. I am not angry at them, for giving me up for adoption and I do not blame them …

Ben-Hur Drinks Water from Jesus - A Deeply Moving Moment from "Ben Hur" (1959)

I recently came across the popular film Ben-Hur (Charleton Heston, 1959). I had heard of the story since I was young, but until I saw the film, didn't know anything about the plot. When I watched the movie, I fell in love with the Biblical setting and most of all, the journey to forgiveness and redemption through suffering. 

The Epic History of Ben-Hur: Today, many people know commonly know the story of Ben-Hur from Heston's emotional performance as the Jewish prince sold into slavery, who returns seeking revenge. However, the original story goes back much further. The book, Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ was published in the 1800s, by the Civil War General, Lew Wallace. Doing some research, I found that when he began writing Ben-Hur he was not influenced by religion in any way. In fact, the original story Wallace had in mind was that of a friendship and betrayal between a Jewish boy and his Roman friend, but didn't include the second part of his title: A Tale of Christ. 

Only af…